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MDx/CDx Focus: PGXL's PerMIT Garners Patent; Baptist, Vanderbilt's Cancer Research Pact


USPTO Grants Patent for PGXL Laboratories' Decision-Support Software

PGXL Laboratories announced last week that the US Patent and Trademark Office has said it will grant a patent on the company's PerMIT decision support software.

"The underlying PerMIT knowledge base and algorithms are being used to prepare the interpretive reports physicians get with every PGXL result," the company said in a statement. One of the test results that will be communicated to doctors through PerMIT will be pharmacogenetic testing to dose the anticoagulant warfarin.

The firm applied for the patent in 2006. The real-time version of PerMIT is currently undergoing clinical trials.

Baptist Memorial, Vanderbilt U Partner on Cancer Research with Genomics Focus

Two Tennessee-based organizations, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation in Memphis and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, announced they would partner on clinical research focused on personalized oncology treatments and create new academic programs for patients in the region.

Under the agreement, cancer patients at Baptist will have greater access to research trials and genetic tests under development at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. These tools and services will be expanded throughout Baptist's hospital system outside of Tennessee, in Mississippi and Arkansas. Baptist has more than 85,000 admissions annually.

"What this means to Mid-South residents is enhanced access to specialized research and genomic medicine," said Jason Little, executive VP and chief operating officer for Baptist. "We will be working with Vanderbilt-Ingram to develop more personalized cancer programs based on patients' genetic makeup, which is the future of cancer therapy."

Through this collaborative arrangement, physicians at Baptist and researchers at Vanderbilt hope to prevent more cancers and speed new treatment options to patients. The partners will conduct joint clinical trials; share cancer tissue to facilitate research and use of genomically targeted treatments; hold joint medical conferences; offer fellowships and training in oncology subspecialities; and partner on grant opportunities for cancer research.

The Scan

Looking for Omicron

NPR reports that SARS-CoV-2 testing in the US has gotten better but also that some experts say more needs to be done to better track the Omicron variant.

Holmes Alleges Abuse

The Associated Press reports that Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes has testified at her wire fraud trial that her business and romantic partner abused her.

Bit More Diverse, But More to Do

While Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to participate in cancer clinical trials than previously, they are still underrepresented, according to US News & World Report.

PNAS Papers on Yeast Gene Silencing, Zika Virus Inhibition, Immunoglobulin Hypermutation

In PNAS this week: gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, possible neuroprotective role for SHFL in a mouse model of Zika virus infection, and more.